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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/01/2003   
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Contents >> Construction >> Industrial disputes

Building and construction is a sector that has high levels of industrial disputation. Given the nature of the house building industry, where individual builders directly subcontract labour as required, disputation tends to be more a feature of non-residential building projects than of residential building projects.

Of the 675 industrial disputes in Australia during 2001, 225 (33%) affected the construction industry (table 20.28). These disputes involved (either directly or indirectly) 69,200 construction industry employees and resulted in the loss of 120,600 working days. This represents 31% of the total number of working days lost due to all industrial disputes in Australia in 2001.


20.28 INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES - 2001

Units
Construction
All industries

Total industrial disputes
no.
225
675
Employees involved (directly and indirectly)
'000
69.2
225.7
Working days lost
'000
120.6
393.1

Source: Industrial Disputes, Australia, December 2001 (6321.0) and supplementary data.


The level of industrial disputes in the construction industry has moderated in recent years (graph 20.29). The 'spikes' of 1996 and 1998 experienced by the construction industry in terms of working days lost can largely be attributed to specific industrial disputes.

Graph - 20.29 working days lost



The effect of specific industrial disputes is identified through a snapshot of the months of 2001 (graph 20.30). The 'spikes' in the graph can be explained by increased industrial action in New South Wales and Victoria. This also reflects that these two states had the largest number of working days lost per 1,000 employees (see table 20.31).

Graph - 20.30 working days lost - 2001



In 2001 the construction industry recorded an average of 275 working days lost per thousand employees, five and a half times the average across all industries combined, as shown in table 20.31. Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia were the most affected, with 427, 278 and 225 working days lost per thousand construction industry employees, respectively. Tasmania and Northern Territory reported little or no strike activity in the construction industry in 2001.


20.31 WORKING DAYS LOST DUE TO INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES - 2001

Construction
All industries
no.(a)
no.(a)

New South Wales
278
62
Victoria
427
65
Queensland
213
38
South Australia
63
27
Western Australia
225
32
Tasmania
-
7
Northern Territory
-
2
Australian Capital Territory
17
3
Australia
275
50

(a) Per thousand employees.

Source: Industrial Disputes, Australia, December 2001 (6321.0).


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